James Merrill

1926–1995
James Merrill
The affluence of James Merrill's background—his father was a founder of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch—allowed him a lifetime of leisure in which to travel, refine his sensibility and polish his poetic technique. The result is a body of careful work dazzling in its variety, wit, and inventiveness. Invariably sparkling on its surface, his poetry also has its depths and shadows, for Merrill suffered his share of heartbreak and loss. Among his most notable achievements is The Changing Light at Sandover, a multipart epic that uses a ouija board as a modern-day oracle.

Poems

What People are Saying

"I have always loved poetry, but through Poetry Out Loud I have learned a greater respect for all different types of poetry. This competition is so much more than memorizing and reciting a poem; I became very invested in each one of my poems."
Janessa Gould
2017 WI POL Champion